Sports 10-31-2018

For EHS boys soccer, 6-6-6 is their lucky number

Since ancient times — going back to the writing of the New Testament — the number sequence “6-6-6” traditionally has been associated with bad luck.

But for the Everett High boys soccer team, those numbers proved to be their magic number.

After earning three ties in their final three games of the season — all by identically level scores of 1-1 — the Crimson Tide finished with a perfectly-even, .500 record of 6-6-6, which is precisely what coach Oswaldo Constanza and his crew needed in order to clinch a berth in the post-season MIAA state tourney.

Everett entered the week with a 6-6-3 mark and needed three points in their remaining three matches in order to achieve the tourney-qualifying .500 record.

However, the road to a Journey to the Tourney would not be an easy one, given that the Tide’s three opponents were Lynn Classical, the first-place team in the North Division of the Northeastern Conference with whom Everett had battled to a 1-1 draw in their first meeting; at Salem, whom the Crimson Tide narrowly had defeated, 3-2, in their first meeting at Everett Stadium; and non-league, but archival Chelsea, which was undefeated coming into the teams’ encounter Friday at Highland Park in Chelsea.

Thaylson Oliveira, assisted by Henrique Da Silva, scored the Everett goal vs. Classical; Juan Meza Rojas, assisted by Andydavens Elysee, reached the back of the net in the Salem match; and Andydavens scored the EHS goal in the Chelsea contest.

“Our defense, led by Christian Rosales and Thiago Almeida, has really come together and did an outstanding job in all three games,” said Constanza. “They won a lot of balls in the air and kept shots on our goal to a minimum.”

Constanza also had words of praise for EHS keeper Fab Souza, who has been rock-solid all season, never more so than in the second half of the contest with Chelsea when the Red Devils applied strong pressure. The lone CHS goal came via a penalty kick when the ref awarded Chelsea the PK because of an Everett hand-ball in the box midway through the second half that knotted the score at 1-1.

Constanza and his crew now will await word of their seeding and first-round opponent in the Division 1 North Sectional of the state tourney. That announcement is expected today (Wednesday) with the Tide’s first game likely on Friday.

If Chelsea is placed into Division 1 (the Red Devil program has been in both D-1 and D-2 in recent years), there is a strong possibility that the teams could meet in the first round of the tourney.

“We have a great rivalry with them,” noted Constanza. “The players all know each other from their club teams and other associations, so before and after the game, things are very friendly. But during the game, the competition is ferocious, with fans on both sides turning out in large numbers.”


EHS volleyball team

honors 11 on Senior Night

The Everett High volleyball team honored 11 seniors for their contributions to the EHS volleyball program before their final home match of the season last Thursday against the first-place Falcons from Danvers.

In the traditional Senior Night ceremony, head coach Mike Fineran first acknowledged Ashley Nicolas, who was the team assistant in her only season with the squad.

“Ashley is an awesome person, and we were happy to keep her with us for the season,” said Fineran. The coach then called up Shakira Fedna and Daiehney Vaz, two superb athletes who joined the team as juniors. Janeka Vilmont and Eloisa Goncalves played three years, and both were key contributors to this year’s team.

Fineran then announced the starting lineup, six players completing their fourth year with the program: Fernanda Aiala, Laryssa Souza, Camila Morare, Ava Labella, Anna Thomaz, and Kayla Gomes.

“This is a special group,” Fineran told the crowd. “We have had a lot of fun and a lot of success the past couple of years, and it is due to their hard work and their commitment to being the best they can be.”

Everett put up a spirited fight against the undefeated Falcons, especially in the second set, when serving by junior Saunti Burton brought the Tide back from a six-point deficit to tie it at 19, but Danvers would prevail 25-21.

The third and final set went to Danvers as well, despite kills from Gomes and Vaz.

“I am proud of this team,” said Fineran. “We went up against a talented opponent, the elite of the league, and we held our own. I wish a couple more bounces had gone our way, of course, but we hung in there and never let up. That’s all a coach can ask for.”

In the season finale the next day, Everett traveled to Medford, hoping to play spoiler on the Lady Mustangs’ Senior Night. The Lady Crimson Tide took the first set, as captain Labella powered her team to a 6-0 lead. Vilmont had a pair of kills and a pair of digs to go with an ace, and junior Bianca May blasted four aces in a row to give Everett a 19-15 advantage. Vaz had three kills and Morare served the final two points for a 26-24 Everett win.

The second set was tighter as neither team could get separation. Everett leaned on May, a talented junior who tallied five kills in the frame and had a team-high 97 on the season.

“She is a special player,” said Fineran. “We’re lucky we don’t have to say goodbye to her just yet.”

Everett got aces from Vilmont and Burton to pull within striking distance, 21-17, but Medford closed out the set with a strong flurry of aces of their own. The Mustangs’ momentum carried over into the third set, which they won 25-14.

However,  Everett rallied in the fourth set, relying on strong serves from captain Thomaz, who led the team in serve percentage (94 percent) and put Everett ahead early, 7-4.

Stellar defense by Goncalves and junior Lorena Corbelli kept Everett in the match, but Medford pulled away after Labella landed four in a row, and Everett ultimately fell 25-16.

The Lady Crimson Tide finished the season with seven wins, three short of qualifying for the state tournament.

“We didn’t reach our goal, so that’s disappointing,” said Fineran. “But when these seniors were freshmen, we won one game. In the last three seasons, we’ve played meaningful games in late October. That’s progress to be proud of.”

Undefeated Pope John Tigers beat Tech Boston Bears 40-8

The undefeated Pope John Tigers (8-0) rolled over the over-matched Tech Boston Bears, 40-8, in the opening round of the MIAA Division 8 North playoffs at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere Friday night, Oct. 26.

The Tigers, heavily favored over the Bears, continued the trend it set after the first two games of the season, where the Tigers won by “only” 15 points over West Roxbury and 15 points over East Boston. Since then, it’s been: big early lead, sit back, and wait for the clock to run out.

The Tigers average margin of victory has been more than 30 points.

Things might be a bit tighter this weekend when the Tigers take on Lynn Vocational, the Division’s fourth seed.

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